Sunday, 25 July 2010
Guardian publishes 'biggest leak in intelligence history' on Afghanistan War from WikiLeaks
The Guardian has published what it describes as the 'biggest leak in intelligence history' after obtaining over 92,201 internal records of actions by the US military in Afghanistan via whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
The documents cover the period between January 2004 and December 2009 – and cover reports from intelligence agencies, plans and accounts of coalition operations, descriptions of enemy attacks and roadside bombs, records of meetings with local politicians, most of them classified secret. The files were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel.
The Guardian says the Afghanistan War Logs detail:
• How a secret "black" unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial.
• How the US covered up evidence that the Taliban have acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles.
• How the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada.
• How the Taliban have caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of its roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.
The Guardian claims the reports, many of which it is publishing in full online, "present an unvarnished and often compelling account of the reality of modern war. Most of the material, although classified 'secret' at the time, is no longer militarily sensitive."
It says: "A small amount of information has been withheld from publication in the Guardian because it might endanger local informants or give away genuine military secrets."